Even before I dialed the phone number to call Chad Revier, Minnesota State Pumpkin Champion, I repeated over and over in my head “Don’t geek out, don’t geek out, don’t geek out.”
You see, I love the pumpkins.
I started growing them about 9 years ago and it’s been one of those hobbies that borders on obsession with my specialty being growing what I considered large pumpkins,100-300 lbs, and a myriad of decorative and classic pumpkins all on a city lot. Some of you may even recall my videos A Pumpkin Opera and Running through the pumpkin patch.
So when the chance arose to interview Chad Revier, the Minnesota Pumpkin King (1,428 lbs.), well . . . . I geeked out.
This is the first interview in a three part series as I stalk Mr.Revier through the 2009 growing season.
1) How many years have you been growing pumpkins?
I have been growing for three years, this will be my second year of competitive growing.
2) What made you decide to start growing pumpkins? A few guys in the area grew giant pumpkins and I thought I would give it a try
3) How much time in a given week do you spend growing pumpkins? It varies greatly depending on the time of year. This year I expanded to 6 plants and at most spend 20-25 hours per week during peak plant growth. Things are starting to slow down now.
4) Some would say pumpkin growing becomes an addiction, what do you say about that? They say the first step is admitting you have a problem, good luck getting a grower to admit it.
5) How often do you think about pumpkins? I thought about them once about three years ago, the problem is I am still thinking.
6) How are your pumpkins doing this year compared to years prior? It is still early but my plants are bigger this year, which should lead to bigger pumpkins. A lot of bad things can happen from now until October.. All I know is there will be good days and some disappointing days.
7) Do you use any special plant foods or fertilizers? Fish emulsions, Seaweed, Humic Acid, Mycorrhizal Fungi, Compost Tea
8) What do you do with the pumpkins once they are harvested? Remove the seeds then nothing to exciting, I have displayed them at the end of the driveway, chopped them up and feed them to the cows, or just let them rot. Always looking for ideas though.
9) Do you like pumpkin soup? Never had it. Just had cucumber soup for the first time, I liked that.
10) What’s your favorite band?
Rock on my brother, rock on.
Here are some pictures in case you’re wondering what Chad’s pumpkins look like at this stage in the game.
If you look beyond the rows of corn you’ll see the patch, that entire square consists of six vines.
Can you also see the whiteish dots in the patch? Those are the pumpkins.
This is what they look like up close.
All I could say when I saw this monster was “Wow”, I mean really, that’s a lot of pumpkin.
Up next: Some practical tips for amateur growers and those that want to get started growing pumpkins.
If you have any questions for Chad, hit me up on Twitter or ask away in the comments.